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Avoiding Wedding Day Disaster: Alcohol Consumption

Posted in: Avoiding Wedding Day Disaster Series
Avoiding Wedding Day Disaster: Alcohol Consumption

Drunk Bride

I went in search of some wedding day disasters to see what wisdom and insight as a planner I could share.  In other words, how would I help my clients to avoid the same mistakes that led to these  wedding mishaps?  When googled, the first thing that came up was a bride that was arrested at her own wedding. Now,  I’m sure many a bride and groom have gotten wasted at their reception, but just because it didn’t end in an arrest doesn’t mean that it still wasn’t a disaster that could have been avoided.  So, for the first in what I will make a regular series , Avoiding Wedding Day Disasters,  I present:

Disaster #1 – The Bride got arrested for breach of peace and civil mischief

The details aren’t important accept for one, the Bride drank way too much and, as a result, she went a little bonkers. She got upset when the bartender  cut off liquor as the end of the reception approached (last call is a real law in most states including Pennsylvania) and threw stuff at her new husband (the kind that could leave a scar), to name a few infractions that landed her in the pokey on her wedding night.

We all know how crazy it can get when we drink a little too much (some certainly more than others). I have personally witnessed Brides and Grooms get into a little alcohol induced tiff by the end of the night simply because over indulgence tends to make some of us irrational and angry at , well nothing.  I know you wanted to cut loose and have a great time at your reception but,  think of this way;  you’ve spent so much time, effort and, of course, money to create the perfect day and atmosphere most likely filled with sophistication and  elegance.  Getting yourself completely intoxicated could quickly negate all that hard work.   So, how do you have fun, let loose but  without it getting too out of control?   Here’s my advice:

  • Don’t over indulge Have fun and relax (maybe take any edge off with a drink or two) but do not over indulge.  Do drink (you deserve it) but pace yourself.   You don’t want to start off your first morning of marriage with a hangover from hell!
  • Eat Carbs! Heck, eat in general.  Many couples are so busy being the Bride and Groom, they forget to enjoy the food at their own wedding . One or two or three glasses of wine can quickly inebriate you when you drink on an empty stomach.   While it won’t prevent intoxication, it does slow the rate of absorption into your blood stream. As long as you have food in your stomach and pace yourself you’ll be able to maintain a nice buzz without going overboard.
  • Let your wedding planner run some interference. If you know of a guest that does not handle their liquor well or gets a little too rowdy, you might want to make your wedding planner aware so that she can alert the bartender and staff to those particular guests (discretely, of course) The staff could somewhat manage the liquor intake of the guests without them even knowing it (like making their drinks just a little weaker)   And,should a guest get out of hand, the wedding planner could defuse anything that might become an unfortunate incident.
  • Make it safe to Drink! If you know that your guests will be the type that may over indulge, then make arrangements for discounts (or have your planner do so) for guests at a nearby hotel. Many offer weddings and their parties bulk rates.  Pass this information on to guests in your invitations and encourage them to stay overnight.  Some hotels even offer shuttle services (at additional costs) that will pick overnight guests up and bring them back safely to the hotel.   Some areas of the country even offer services that will take people home in their own cars if they are drunk.  No, seriously!  Here is a link to the National Directory of Designated Driver Services. (and there is one available in Carbon County, PA!) Call or have your planner call to find out if such a service is available or how you can make one available for your guests.
  • Stick to Red & White Wine and Champagne Guests are less likely to drink those in quantities that would leave them inebriated and it will also help your wedding budget by cutting out hard liquor costs.

And so, I leave you with a funny skit below called Drunk Bride and stars British actress Catherine Tate compliments of YouTube.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZvUO_CigmY&w=400&h=225]

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Jim Thorpe Pa: Your Premiere Destination Wedding Location Close to Home

Posted in: Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe Pa: Your Premiere Destination Wedding Location Close to Home

Balcony at the Inn at Jim Thorpe

It is estimated that 1 out of 10 U.S weddings are destination weddings.  Most of us think of Hawaii , Jamaica, or a European villa when we hear those words.  But, what if a unique, romantic, and truly memorable location could be found closer to home?

Jim Thorpe, PA – a town tucked away on the western edge of the Poconos, offers a unique backdrop.  The town’s Victorian architecture and rich history creates an air of romance not easily found or duplicated.

If a traditional church ceremony is not your thing, you can exchanged vows at the historic Mauch Chunk Opera House, among the art at the Anita Shapolsky Gallery, at the Train Station, on the train itself as it rides into Lehigh Gorge State Park and back, or in one of many local parks includingKemmerer Park on Front Hill.

Jim Thorpe Train Station Wedding

Jim Thorpe Train Station

The possibilities for a unique wedding here are endless.  The beauty of nature that surrounds it adds a rustic elegance and sense of outdoor adventure, while the many art galleries and unique local shops give just the right touch of sophistication.

There is no shortage of wedding photo opportunities with historic landmarks like theOld Jailhouse Museum that once held theMolly Maguires, the Asa Packer and Harry Packer Mansions, the Kemmerer Carriage House, and the train station all within walking distance.

And, who can forget the Inn at Jim Thorpe, the restored historical gem of Broadway that once played host to dignitaries like Ulysses S. Grant, US presidents William Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, and Thomas Edison. For an elegant and intimate reception, there is the meticulously restored Mauch Chunk Ballroom that features a wedding planner to assist with the many details involved in a destination wedding.

Whether you are looking for a unique, rustic, elegant, adventurous, or sophisticated affair, Jim Thorpe has it all. It’s your premiere destination wedding location close to home.

Interested in a wedding in Jim Thorpe?  Contact our planner to book an appointment to see the beautiful Ballroom and discover for yourself why Jim Thorpe is the perfect location for your special day!

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Wedding Music Selection Tips : Make it personal!

Posted in: Wedding Planning Advice
Wedding Music Selection Tips : Make it personal!

This past week I sat in on a meeting between my clients, Heather & Tom, and  their DJ to go over the music that they would want playing for various points during the reception. We went over who was going to make a grand entrance after cocktail hour and in what order, their first dance, the special dances, and all the music in between. Music, of course, is very important to a reception. You want your guests to be out on the dance floor moving and shaking! The right music can leave a lasting impression on your guests and make it a party they will not soon forget.

How many times, when put on the spot about a song title, do we all seem to magically forget and can’t think of one?  Happened all the time to me when I ‘d go out to a Karaoke bar.  So, when the DJ was asking my clients what songs they want playing for their entrance or the entrance of their parents, grandparents , etc.,   they were at a loss.  I then asked them questions to help them come up with some selections ;  what kind artist or style of music do their parents like or what was their wedding songs? Immediately the bride began to laugh and say that her parents , and particularly her mother’s , favorite artist was kind of embarassing;  Engelbert Humperdinck. She then told the story of how she dragged her poor father out to see him and snag an autograph.  And so, I suggested that they choose an Englebert song for her parents introduction. She thougth it was a fantastic idea and that her mother would love it and probably wouldn’t believe that the DJ was playing it.  I told them to keep it a secret  so that she would be surprised and the rest of the family would get a good laugh at the song selection, especially if they know how crazy she is for him.

Another one of his groomsmen goes by a special  nickname in which there is a theme song  associated ( I don’t want to give it away till after the wedding!) , so I suggested that song for his entrance. Since everyone at the wedding knows him and his nickname,  it too would get a good chuckle.   I carried the same idea over to the other portions of the night where a special song is selected to accompany the moment.  For example, since the groom’s grandmother is the only surving grandparent on either side, he wants to dance a special dance with her following the cake cutting.   I suggested that he find out what her favorite artist or song is, or even what song played at the first dance at her wedding to his grandfather.  And, yes, the Bride and Groom went home with some homework assignments from their wedding planner!

Personally, and from past experiences, these little moments are what makes a wedding so memorable because it really reaches down and gets personal for  the Bride & Groom as well as the family and friends that have joined them in their special day. Songs can conjur up so many wonderful memories or  inside jokes, and playing those songs will leave a smile and even a tear of joy in your guests eyes.  Showing parents and family members that you were paying attention and know their favorite songs or first dances makes them feel special and loved by you.  And, as long as there is nothing offensive in any of the song titles choosen, nothing is off limits.  Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when selecting various songs for different segments of the evening at the reception:

  • For your parents introduction you may want to think about what their favorite song or favorite artist is.  If they have obscure, off the wall tastes that is even better!  Any good DJ, particularly those that work with digital files, should be able to get it.
  • What special song represents an inside joke for you and the bridesmaid/groomsmen , friends or family?   Think of  events in your life or any memorable moments; a night out at a club, a song you would always rock out to together, or road trip sing-a-longs. Think about what music or songs  you have associated with those moments.   You can have  it played when they are introduced.  Other examples;  your favorite song or artist you worshipped when you were like 12!  Or an artist that he/she was obsessed with.  The cheesier, the better.  Nostalgia is always a winner! And, if no one gets the selection other than you and the person you are playing it for, well that makes it a special *wink* moment; a private joke  between you and your bridesmaid/groomsmen.
  • If introducing your parents as a couple, what was their wedding song?  This may require some investigation on your part,but it would be worth it.
  • What are the wedding songs of some of your guests, particularly Aunts, Uncles or Grandparents?  You could have their song played sometime in the evening and  have the DJ give them a nod by mentioning that it is their song and how many years they have been married.

Of course, these tips don’t only apply during introductions or special moments, but these questions can help you decide what songs to play throughout the night during what  is called the “free dance” period.  And , of course, think of all the songs that mattered to you as a couple;  think about what music/artist or songs reflect your journey together so far and where you want to go.  Ask each others friends and family members what songs, artists they used to like as kids and have them put on the “play list” . For  a little added umphf, surprise each other by having those songs from their childhood  added to the playlist in secret. You can even tell the DJ to make some sort of announcement to “dedicate” this song to the other with a little anectdote, if there is one attached to the song/memory.

I say go ahead and make it personal!  Create your own soundtrack for the evening as if you are in the movie of your life together and enjoy it all!

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Meghna & Quentin: A Blending of Family & Culture

Posted in: Ballroom Weddings
Meghna & Quentin: A Blending of Family & Culture

I met Meghna  & Quentin nine  months before their May 5th wedding.  A  very busy couple from Philadelphia (she is a doctor doing her residency, he works in finance and commutes to NYC), they were looking for a wedding that brought them away from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives.  The groom’s parents, also from outside the area, have a vacation home up at Bear Creek Lake Estates in Jim Thorpe and since the couple visit the area often, they felt it the perfect location for their nuptials.  I was happy that they chose the Ballroom for their reception.

As I got to know the couple, I knew that this wedding would be special because not only were they joining two wonderful families together, but they were joining cultures;  an east meets west.  Meghna is Hindu and Quentin is from a Christian American family. I was happy to hear that the couple wanted to incorporate both cultures in their day.  As a wedding planner, that is very exciting!  Even better yet, they planned on having the ceremony in the backyard of the vacation house on their private lakeside beach. They  hired me and my staff to coordinate and plan their lakeside ceremony; a three hour affair that incorporated rentals for chairs, champagne glasses and a staff to serve refreshments.  Bus arrangements were made for the guests to be picked up at the Jim Thorpe train station  to the ceremony.

Father of the Bride & Groom

My favorite photo from the day
Photos by Icarus Image

The bride choose  coral and hot pink for her color palette, fitting for their Cinco de Mayo nuptials .   The weather,  thankfully,  cooperated and it was a beautiful sunny day with temps in the mid 70’s.  Of course, I had a back up plan should the weather not behave, but I’m always grateful when mother nature is in tune with the plan.  As I was there with my staff setting up, it was fun to watch the Grooms parents  get dressed in traditional Indian clothes and accessories. It warmed my heart to see the two families so lovingly embrace each others cultures and they clearly were enjoying themselves.  The wedding photographer, ICarus Images, captured this so beautifully in pictures and one of my favorite photos is of the two fathers clearly laughing and smiling in each others presence.

Hindu Ceremony Decorations

Lakeside Hindu Ceremony at Bear Creek Lake Estates

Quentin’s father , whose hobbies include making stain glass  , created a beautiful piece that hung at the entrance to the beach.  He also created the Mandap, a traditional structure in which the couple wed under in a traditional Indian Ceremony. The Bride & Grooms names were carved in wood and painted in their wedding color pallete. The bride provided a program for her American wedding guests that explained the various aspects of the Hindu ceremony and all the intrictate movements and exchanges that take place between the Bride’s parents, Grooms parents and the couple.

Beautiful stain glass

The Hindu ceremony lasted about an hour followed by  an intermission in which they drank champagne and sparkling lemonade and noshed on some cheese and crackers.  Once the Bride & Groom were dressed in their traditional  Tux and Bridal gown, they had the  american ceremony that was presided over by the Groom’s uncle. This ceremony was shorter and once it concluded the family packed into the chartered bus to head to the beautiful Mauch Chunk Ballroom for the reception. And, what a beautiful reception it was. The theme of an  Indian and American blend continued with American cuisine by Dorie Perdie, the Ballroom chef, and authentic Indian Cuisine from Spice of India of Whitehall.  Of course, there were some beautiful speeches as the family continued to show their appreciation for each other and the couple that joined their families together in a beautiful celebration. Everyone danced and had an amazing evening.  It was a wedding I won’t soon forget and I am so grateful to have been their planner.  I wish Quentin & Meghna many years of married bliss together and may they continue to share in their blended family cultures.

Party at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom

Party at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom

Vendors:

The Mauch Chunk Ballroom,

Jim Thorpe Weddings & Events

Best Buds Florist,

Stevie Ray Entertainment,

Cake Designs by Angie

Icarus Image.

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Courtney & Ernie – A Beautiful Jim Thorpe Wedding

Posted in: Ballroom Weddings
Courtney & Ernie – A Beautiful Jim Thorpe Wedding

I absolutely LOVE Jim Thorpe.  I can’t say it enough. It’s just a beautiful town that offers an amazing backdrop and an old world romance to your wedding day.

Jim Thorpe Wedding Train Station

The Jim Thorpe Train Station

This past September 3 I had the privledge of being the planner for Courntey & Ernie at the beautiful Mauch Chunk Ballroom.  They were such a fun, loving and wonderful couple with two beautiful children to boot.  The photographs just came in, and so I had to share them for a few reasons. First Josh Finsel + Amber Breiner (JF+AB Photography) did such and AMAZING job on the photographs.  Secondly, the scenery in which they shot the wedding was amazing;  The Inn at Jim Thorpe, The Old Jail House on Broadway, the Jim Thorpe Train station, I can go on!   No matter which direction you look in historic Jim Thorpe, there is just so much beautiful scenery and all of it is filled with romance!

Then, of course, there is the gorgeous Mauch Chunk Ballroom that is housed in the Mauch Chunk Museum building.  DJ Adam Skuba of Skuba Entertainment offered some really awesome looking uplighting for the event, adding another layer of elegance and pinnache.

I looked at these photos and fell in love with Jim Thorpe all over again.  I am so grateful to have discovered this little town and

First Dance at Mauch Chunk Ballroom

I’m happy to share it and it’s romance with couples that come through here and chose this magical town to get married in.  I’m also grateful for the many talented photographers, cake makers, DJ’s and Florists that I have the pleasure of working with. Please , enjoy some of the photos in the photo gallery compliments of JF+AB Photograhy!

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